5 Ways to Prepare to Buy a House in 2024

Dated: November 21 2023

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5 Ways to Prepare to Buy a House in 2024

Purchasing a home can feel like a very daunting process to begin, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. Knowing what to prepare for and where to start can be helpful. There are things you can do now to set you up for success when the time comes.

In this article, we will walk you through 5 ways to start the process before talking to an agent. Download the free checklist here

Lower Debt to Income Ratio

Suppose you're unsure where to start or even when you want to purchase. This is a great first step. Lowering your debt-to-income ratio can increase your chances of getting your loan application approved. A high debt-to-income ratio is the number one reason people get their applications denied.

Research Areas You Want

Knowing where you want to be located, size, style, etc., will help save you time. It’s important to know the kind of home you need and want. What are your non-negotiables or must-haves in a home? How much space do you need? How much space do you want? These are all essential questions to ask yourself and consider. 

Save for a Down Payment

The down payment amount will depend on the price of the home you are trying to purchase. It's typically ideal to save 20% of a home's purchase price because many lenders require that percentage. However, there are different programs you may qualify for depending on your situation; especially for first-time homebuyers. 

Talk to a few different lenders about your specific goals and situation to get the most accurate information for you.

Plan for Other Fees

Many other expenses come along with home buying. Make sure you have saved for these so that you are not caught off guard:

  • Loan Fees

  • Appraisal Fees

  • Title Insurance

  • Property Taxes

  • Recording Fees

  • Homeowners Insurance

Get Pre-Approved

Most real estate agents will require pre-approval before showing you a single home. You might think you have an idea of what you can afford but, unless you’re paying cash you will need to know what your lender says you can afford.

You can shop around and speak with different lenders to see how they can work with you and your specific situation.

Purchasing a home is a big step, you should be proud. Planning is the first and best thing you can do for yourself if your goal is to purchase a home.

Pro Tips from our Agents

Make sure you find a mortgage company that you trust and can work with you a on personal level. Staying away from companies with a “1-800” number is a good rule of thumb. Talk to your agent about lenders they know and trust.

Lastly, consider traffic patterns. Depending on your commute and work schedule. People often only look at the distance from their home to their job, but research and ask locals about traffic patterns.  This is a good way to know if it will work for you.

Preparing to purchase a home can feel overwhelming. Finding people, companies, and vendors you trust can be hard. Here at NextHome we believe in humans over houses; we want your home-buying process to go as smoothly as possible.

Curious about what the homebuying process looks like? Check out our detailed timeline here.

Download your checklist here.

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